Monday, April 25, 2011

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

About a week ago, I mentioned to my husband that I had found some frozen chicken breasts in the freezer that I did not know we had.  (It pays to clean out the freezer!)  I asked if there were any chicken dishes that he wanted me to cook, and the first words out of his mouth were "chicken enchiladas."

I panicked...there's a reason I haven't made enchiladas in over two years.  Every time I make enchiladas I've used a different recipe.  I know chicken enchiladas are usually cooked in a white chile sauce, but my first exposure to them was in a red sauce and they were really good.  I've since lost that recipe, although I know the basics, and in the past I have searched recipes and tried white sauces as well.  Basically, I don't have a standard enchilada recipe (and some can be quite time consuming), so you never know what you're going to get or how it's going to turn out.   

So, I had the basics...chicken, flour tortillas, and cheese.  I just had to figure out how to mix it all together.  I really couldn't decide whether to go with a white or red sauce, so I decided to do both, with the help of Old El Paso.

I cut two chicken breasts into bite size pieces and then sauteed them in butter, with some garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and onions.  When the chicken was cooked, I added about 1/2 can of the green chile sauce (I was conservative with it, not wanting it to overpower the chicken.  I could have used the whole can), about a cup (two handfuls) of cheddar cheese and some chopped cilantro and mixed it all together, until the cheese melted.  Monterey Jack or a Cheddar/Jack combo would work too.  You could probably add some sour cream in this step as well, but you won't find that at this house!

I then added about a 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture to the middle of a flour tortilla and rolled it up, placing seam side down in a casserole dish.  It made 10 enchiladas, which was plenty for us for dinner as well as my husband's lunch the next day.  I used 3 corn tortillas and 7 flour tortillas to compare the two, but found that the corn tortillas cracked easily when trying to fold them.

I topped the enchiladas with the red enchilada sauce as well as more cheddar cheese and then baked in a 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes (until Ezra got home).  I served them with homemade guacamole and salsa. 

Overall, my husband and I liked them very much, and this was much easier than making a white sauce from scratch.  My three big kids weren't so thrilled, but they did eat the chicken filling without complaint (in order to get an after-dinner treat), as well as chips, salsa, and guacamole.  Charlie, however, ate every bite....chicken, tortilla, salsa, & guacamole.....He's my kind of kid.  :)  Maybe now that I have the recipe documented, I'll be able to serve this favorite of my husband's more often than every 2 years. 

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